Trying to show that it hears some of the criticism of its proposals for accountable care organizations (ACOs) the Obama Administration is offering up some potential alternatives before the concept gets written in stone.
Among the options it put out on the table last week: allowing organizations that already have an ACO infrastructure in place to start testing out the concept as soon as October, instead of January, as was proposed in the ACO rules the Administration issued in March.
On a conference call with reporters, Dr. Don Berwick, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also tantalized physicians and others with the possibility that the Administration might offer up front payments to those who wanted to take part but didn’t have the resources.
In other health reform news, the feds issued a rule that would subject insurance premium rate increases of 10% or more to review. And, the Administration offered up its arguments defending the Affordable Care Act in a brief filed with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
That case will be heard on June 1. For more policy and practice news, take a listen to this week’s podcast:
—Alicia Ault (on Twitter @aliciaault)